How to (Re)Ignite Your Passion for Life
Johnny Storm (Human Torch) has it easy… Unfortunately for us, it can often take more than simply saying two words to reignite our passion for life.
Of all the things that clients seek me out for, the most upsetting and common one by far is an absence of life passion. ‘I’ve lost my passion; I want to find it again’, ‘I used to know how to be happy and somehow I lost sight of it’. (It reminds me of the early 90’s movie Hook where Robin Williams has to find his happy thoughts to fly)
Of course another person can’t give you your passion–it is something that comes from within. Yet, many things can help accelerate this process of reigniting your passion for life. This article is the best of what I have learned through my own personal journeys and my work with clients to help you more fully ignite your life passion ASAP.
1. Drop the Identity of ‘the Passionless One’
Just because you haven’t felt passionate in the last months or years doesn’t mean you can simply call yourself ‘passionless’ and call it a day. Start by making a clear distinction between facts that have happened in the past (I haven’t felt passion) and an ongoing identity that continues to condition your behavior (I am not passionate).
Do yourself (and the rest of the world) a favor and drop, dissolve and de-atomize that painful identity. Once you drop this limiting identity, the world opens up with possibility.
Further Resource: ‘Stress and Negativity Transformation’ training guide, where Batman guides you through a process to not only drop old and ill-fitting identity, but craft a new one that inspires and emboldens you.
Challenge: When your old and unhelpful identity sneaks on to the scene, recognize it with kindness and say (in your head or out loud), ‘Story’. Then, use this moment of interruption to refocus on your passion for life quest.
2. Childlike Enthusiasm
Observe a toddler for a few hours. What you will very quickly notice is that young human beings are brimming with passion, with aliveness, with engagement. They haven’t yet learned how to ‘tone it down’, how to hold back or filter their unabashed joy. No jadedness, no cynicism, no broken dreams.
So the million dollar question becomes, ‘Who you were before you learned to be cynical, jaded and dreamless?’
Further Resource: 10 Ways Children Can Point Us Toward Happiness (external blog)
Challenge: Find pictures, videos, early art projects…whatever you can from your young self (especially between the ages of 0 and 8). Use these things as bridges back to your original innocent enthusiasm and passion for life.
3. Shattering the Norm
If normal ain’t working, be abnormal. I’m not talking counter-culture; I simply mean introduce some non-ordinary experiences into your life.
Always take the same route to the market? Go a different way, guided by your curiosity and sense of adventure. Have a core group of friends you are comfortable with? Make plans with someone that isn’t so familiar or comfortable.
Look for opportunities that simultaneously excite and scare you (within obvious common sense) and engage them. By doing things that are outside the familiar, you will discover new parts of yourself that may reignite your passion for life.
Further Resource: A post of my 2012 lessons, and my 2013 break-out plans. Use this article as inspiration to strategize your own norm-shattering adventures.
Challenge: Create one ‘norm shattering’ plan that you will execute in the next few weeks. If it is a big challenge, build in accountability by telling a friend or scheduling a debrief after the experience.
4. Play as a Portal to Life Passion
I am a big fan of play for the sake of play. Play means dropping tightness and the ‘I know’ attitude, letting curiosity and imagination take you away into totally new personas and expressions. By doing this, long estranged parts of yourself become once again accessible.
So put yourself in situations where you have to play, where you can get taken away by play and be ready to rediscover your passion for life.
Further Resources: Magic blog–cause why not?
Challenge: Have at least one experience of play with a kid (13 or younger), and let them lead–let them retrain you in the art of play.
5. Hang with Life Passion Professionals
No matter what it is, if it’s a personal edge, supportive community is crucial to your long-term success. So, surround yourself with people that live in their passion, or at least those that are actively seeking this (their passion is rediscovering their passion).
This is almost like a short-cut to personal passion, simply through the exposure and cross-pollination effect. So make best use of this strategy!
Further Resource: Meetup.com, to immediately find like-passioned people and events.
Challenge: Share your intention to reignite your passion for life with at least one other person that appears receptive and supportive.
6. Recognizing Timelessness
This one may seem a bit esoteric, but take a moment to consider where you have lost yourself in an activity. Not in the way we can lose ourselves in TV or Youtube, but how you can lose track of time from being actively engaged in something.
Those times where you are not counting the minutes; where the experience draws you in and gladdens your heart, where you feel timeless.
By first recognizing and then exploring these ‘moments of timelessness’, you will rediscover the aliveness within the experience: the talents that got expressed, the personal values that got honored, the qualities that moved you. This practice is one of the most powerful ways I have found to detective your way back to your life passion.
Further Resource: ??
Challenge: Create a list of ‘go-to’ timelessness activities for those moments where you find your passion has dissipated.
7. Inspiring Heroes
Similar to ‘Recognizing Timelessness’, take time to identify those people that you feel natural admiration and respect for: role models, mentors, leaders.
And like number seven, get underneath the personality to explore their purpose, passions, values and talents that so resonate with you. You are looking for the parts of them that spark your own inner aliveness; chances are very good that you have similar passions.
Further Resources: Some of my personal Superheroes (Superhero Spotlight).
Challenge: Find three people that you naturally feel inspired by and explore the passions that inspire them.
8. Directly Activate Your Fire
If you have explored the League at all, you will know that I am a big proponent of using the physical body to help empower mental, emotional and lifestyle changes. I myself use a range of body and breath practices on a daily basis to keep my system energized, sensitive and connected.
What I have found is that simply by keeping your body relaxed, your heart and lungs strong, your endocrine glands healthy, your nervous system tuned up, your gut untaxed, passion for life naturally arises and grows.
A big aim for the League is to continue to make these psycho-physical practices available to the community at large, so that you can gradually introduce them into your lifestyle. Yet even if you don’t know any special practices, simply stretching, breathing deeply, getting sunlight and fresh air…these practices will already do a lot to stimulate this natural sense of life passion.
Challenge: Check out the Complete Breathing and 7 Minute Embodiment blogs, and do these practices three times in the coming week. Pay attention to their effect as you practice and afterward.
Tools to Ignite You
Each tool comes with further resources and a specific challenge; my recommendation is to commit to doing one fully before moving on to another one or trying a few simultaneously.
Share your experiences below, and if you know others that are struggling to (re)ignite their passion for life, share this article.
Eka, aka SuperSpark
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